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February 14, 2014
There is no denying that Canada is a popular destination for people from all around the world. Every year, thousands of people immigrate to Canada to begin a new life. The reasons vary, but once they get here a lot of work must be done in order to blend into a new society and get their new lives in order.
If you are a newcomer to Canada, you know just how complex the transition can be, with all of the legal, social and financial elements. Once you’re here and have all the legalities out of the way, you may be interested in purchasing a house.
For someone from another culture with different rules and laws, this process can be frightening and exciting at the same time. Here are some tips to follow that will make the process as smooth as possible.
Get Your Documents Together
Gathering up all the relevant documents from your own country is a good idea before you begin the process of looking for a home here in Canada. These may include statements from your bank accounts, work permits or visas, immigration status, birth certificates and other forms of identification. You may not need all or any of them when you start looking for a mortgage, but it’s better to have them and not need them than the opposite way around.
Your Credit History
Just like with Canadians who have lived here their entire lives, your credit history has some bearing on whether or not you can get a mortgage. If the credit you have established in another country isn’t accessible by Canadian banks, you may have to start the process over again.
Poor credit is never good, but sometimes no credit history is even worse in a lender’s eyes. If your credit history is out of reach, start building a new one as soon as possible. Open a Canadian bank account and use it as often as possible. Apply for small amounts of credit like loans or credit cards, and pay your bills on time every month. These timely payments also apply to your rent, utilities and any insurance premiums you pay.
Proof of Income
For any lender to agree to loan you such a large amount of money, you will need income and more importantly you’ll need to provide proof of that income. Pay stubs or direct deposit slips from your bank, job letters and tax receipts will usually work. The longer you can stay with one employer, the better it will reflect on your ability to get a mortgage. If a lender sees that you jump around from job to job, they may not think you’ll have steady income in the future.
Make a Budget
Depending on where you choose to live in Canada, the housing prices may be quite high or quite reasonable. It’s important to do a little research, and make a budget that is in line with your income and the housing costs of that area. If you do this step before you come to the country and you have the choice of where to live, you may base your decision on the prices of the real estate, to ensure you can affords the housing and have a comfortable life.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage before you actually find a house is a common thing to do in Canada, and it’s a step you should also take when the time comes for you to get a mortgage. The pre-approval process lets you know ahead of time, exactly the amount of mortgage you qualify for.
Then, when you go out looking for your home, you’ll know what types of houses to look at, and you won’t have to worry about being refused after you’ve found a house you really love.
Call an Expert
Make a point of using professional services from companies with proven track records for each step of the home buying process. Friends, family members and co-workers may mean well, but if you are unfamiliar with the way the system works you may encounter problems without the proper guidance.
This means professional mortgage brokers and lenders, realtors, lawyers, home inspectors and anyone else who is involved in the process. These services will cost more, but buying a home is a huge expense and there are many opportunities for people to take advantage. Stick with experts who you can reach whenever you need them and you’ll be taken care of until you have a home to call your own.
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